Syria's Assad calls for aid cooperation without hurting "sovereignty"

BEIRUT Sun May 4, 2014 6:27am EDT

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) meets with members of the Higher Committee for Relief in Damascus May 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) meets with members of the Higher Committee for Relief in Damascus May 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA.

Credit: Reuters/SANA/Handout via Reuters

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has said government agencies should increase cooperation on aid work but it must be done without "compromising national sovereignty", state media reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last month none of the warring parties in Syria was meeting U.N. demands for aid access and demanded the Security Council take action on violations of international law.

Blaming "terrorists" for inflicting suffering on civilians, Assad was quoted by state news agency SANA late on Saturday as saying aid work was a top priority for the government and urged agencies to increase cooperation.

Assad stressed "the importance of delivering aid without delay and continuing field work with all concerned bodies domestically and abroad to ease relief operations without compromising national sovereignty", SANA said.

Assad's forces and to a lesser extent the insurgents trying to topple him have been accused of preventing food and medicine from reaching a quarter of a million people in besieged areas, to starve opponents into submission.

Syrian authorities often dictate how aid is distributed by U.N. agencies, who are legally obliged to work with national authorities, meaning more supplies go to government-controlled areas, aid workers say.

Syria's war poses huge challenges for aid workers. The three-year-old conflict has killed over 150,000 people, forced 2.5 million to flee abroad, and put nine million people inside the country in need of aid and protection.

(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (2)
itsmysayokay wrote:
THE MAIN TERRORIST HERE IS ASSAD HIMSELF..WHO ADVOCATES DROPPONG CRUDE BARREL BOMBS THAT INDISCIMINATELY KILLS INNOCENT CIVILIANS AND THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. HE IS THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO BE TAKEN OUT!

May 04, 2014 6:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
itsmysayokay wrote:
When is this madness going to be dealt with by the international body? When? When? Assad needs to be taken out of the scene before this war ever ends. Where is your backbone UN and Obama? huh? chicken littles!

May 04, 2014 6:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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